Landlords can’t bring an action for unlawful detainer based on nonpayment of rent until the 3 days required to pay rent or quit have expired. Computing that 3 days can be tricky—and the whole case hinges on it.
Here’s the basic rule: Three full days after the day a 3-day notice is served must pass before a complaint can be filed because the time in which any act provided by law must be done (e.g., payment of overdue rent) “is computed by excluding the first day and including the last.” CCP §12.
If the third day falls on a holiday, then the 3-day period is extended to and includes “the next day that is not a holiday.” CCP §12a. Legal holidays are every Saturday and Sunday and the other days listed in Govt C §6700 and CCP §§10, 12a, and 135.
Here’s an example of how it plays out:
- If a 3-day notice is served on Wednesday, the rent must be paid by the end of the third day after Wednesday, which is Saturday. (Note that the day when notice was served isn’t counted because the first day is excluded. CCP §12.)
- But because Saturday and Sunday are holidays, the rent may be paid on the next non-holiday, Monday. CCP §12a.
- But if that Monday is the third Monday in January (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a holiday), the rent may be paid on Tuesday.
- If the rent is not paid by the end of the day on Tuesday, the landlord may file his or her complaint on Wednesday.
If the trial courts are closed on any day other than judicial holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the court must provide notice of such closing by posting at the courthouse and on the court’s public Internet website at least 60 days in advance. Govt C §68106(b).
For everything you need to know about the requirements for a valid 3-day notice, including a list of dates declared to be holidays, and tenant strategies and remedies for noncompliance, turn to CEB’s California Eviction Defense Manual. If you practice in the area of landlord-tenant law, whether representing landlords or tenants, check out CEB’s California Landlord-Tenant Practice.
Other CEBblog™ posts on landlord-tenant law include
- Can You Evict Tenants for Renting Out Their Apartments for Short-Term Use?
- To Evict or Not to Evict?
- Self-Help Eviction: Don’t Even Think About It!
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